Today (September 25, 2015): September luxury travel news.
Every last Friday of the month, you can read our news round-up of what’s happening in the world of luxury travel. In this issue:
- Emirates’ eight daily London flights set to become all A380.
- Forget the polls: Trump announces a new hotel in Bali
- Track down Costa Rica’s wildlife wonders with British Airways
- The St Regis Mumbai is now open
- World’s largest twin-engine jetliner closer to real
- Mandarin Oriental opens its first Italian property in Milan
- Lufthansa completes long haul cabin retrofit
- Alila Purnama sets sail for Raja Ampat, Indonesia
- The Four Seasons Resort O’ahu at Ko Olina in Hawaii can now be booked
- Finnair A350 makes first flight
1. Emirates’ eight daily London flights set to become all A380
Emirates’ eight daily flights to London will all be served by the highly popular A380s from 2016, cementing the airline’s status as the largest international A380 operator. Combined with the airline’s double daily A380 services to Manchester, Emirates will offer 70 A380 flights per week into the UK, more than any other country on the Emirates network. The third A380 into London Gatwick will replace Emirates flights EK011/EK012 from 1st January 2016, providing customers with a consistent A380 experience no matter what time of day they travel. Read here our trip report of our Business Class flight aboard Emirates A380 from Dubai to Sydney, or watch our clip below.
2. Trump Hotel Collection announces a hotel in Bali
Trump Hotel Collection announced that they have reached an agreement with the MNC Group, Indonesia’s leading investment group, to manage a luxury resort and residential development. Situated in the most magnificent location in Bali, atop the southwest coast and set against the Indian Ocean and renowned Tanah Lot temple, the property will be first resort in Asia of Donald Trump, the controversial candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. The hotel will have an integrated lifestyle resort vision providing the large suites and villas with expansive views along with the finest amenities and six-star services, bringing a new level of hospitality to Bali, “The Isle of Gods”.
3. Track Down Costa Rica’s Wildlife Wonders With British Airways
Adventurers and nature lovers will go wild for British Airways’ new flights in 2016 to exotic Costa Rica, a country know for amazing scenery and wildlife. Starting in May next year, British Airways will offer nonstop flights between Gatwick and the Costa Rican capital of San Jose. Customers will initially be able to fly twice a week during the summer (Wednesday and Saturday), rising to three a week in the winter (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday), in comfort and style to San Jose’s Santamaría International Airport direct from Gatwick, on British Airways’ Boeing 777 fleet. Flight times will be around 11 hours.
4. The St. Regis Mumbai Hotel opens
Offering convenient access to the Parel and Worli commercial districts, The St Regis Mumbai is the newest best address for conducting business in the financial capital of India. The Bandra Kurla Complex is also nearby, and the airport is 13 kilometres (12 miles) away. Business and leisure visitors alike will appreciate the indulgences and stunning views afforded by 386 well-appointed guest rooms, suites, and serviced apartments. Whatever the request, St. Regis Butler Service is available any time, day or night. The hotel’s fitness centre, swimming pool, and spa offer welcome escapes. Dining venues’ cuisines include Indian, Japanese, pan-Asian, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean.
5. World’s largest twin-engine jetliner closer to real
According to CNN, big rumblings are going on at America’s airplane capital, the Boeing Co. aircraft factory north of Seattle. Engineers are moving forward with building the world’s biggest twin-engine jetliner, the 777-9X (the first aircraft of the 777X family). For air travelers and aviation enthusiasts, there’s a lot to be excited about. The plane will have the widest wingspan of any aircraft in the company’s 99-year history: 235 feet, 5 inches (71.8 meters). Like the wings, the plane’s cabin also will be big, seating at least 400 passengers. The 777-9X’s windows will also be 15% larger than competing airliners. Prototype testing is expected to get underway soon, Boeing says.
6. Mandarin Oriental opens its first Italian property in Milan
Mandarin Oriental, Milan is an intimate and contemporary hotel housed within four elegantly redeveloped 18th century buildings, with a distinctly residential feel. The 104 elegant rooms and suites offer the most stylish and spacious accommodation in the city. Situated on the central Via Andegari, just a few steps away from the fashionable Via Manzoni and Montenapoleone, the hotel is perfectly located, with easy access to the city’s most important commercial, fashion and cultural centres.
7. Lufthansa completes long haul cabin refit
Lufthansa has now successfully completed the largest cabin renewal program in the company’s history. As of now, only aircraft with new cabin interiors are enrolled in scheduled service. This means that Business and Economy Class in all of Lufthansa’s 106 long-haul aircraft are equipped with the latest cabin decor and seats. In 76 aircraft passengers can indulge in the new First Class cabin. Since 2011, Lufthansa has invested on average around one million euros per day in the refurbishing of the cabins. Around 39,000 seats were either replaced, modified or, in new aircraft, built: 600 seats in First Class, 7,000 seats in Business Class and about 27,600 seats in Economy Class.
8. Alila Purnama sets sail for Raja Ampat, Indonesia (October till March)
After the success of its launch in December 2014, Alila Purnama, the luxury Phinisi from Alila Hotel and Resorts will begin its tour of the Raja Ampat region, set in Indonesia’s West Papua province, this October. Alila Purnama is the most luxurious live-aboard Phinisi in the region, providing the best in service and pampering by an experienced crew of 16 with stylish accommodation for up to 10 guests. The 46-metre long ship consists of three decks and four well-appointed suites. In addition to the above, Alila Purnama features a library, lounge, bar, indoor dining area and an abundance of deck space on-board to unwind and enjoy the views.
9. The Four Seasons Resort O’ahu at Ko Olina in Hawaii can now be booked
The new Four Seasons Resort O‘ahu at Ko Olina – set to open early next year – is now confirming reservations beginning June 1, 2016. In an unprecedented move, Four Seasons is opening its guest book almost nine months in advance. “We’ve had so many inquiries from all over the world asking when the new Four Seasons will open, so we’ve decided to start taking reservations for next year as of today,” says Nelson Hilton, Senior Director of Marketing. The new Four Seasons Resort will have 358 luxurious rooms and suites, 5 restaurants, four pools plus white sand beaches, a multi-level Spa and Wellness Centre, and preferred access to the Ko Olina Golf Club.
10. Finnair A350 makes first flight
According to Business Traveller, Finnair’s new A350 XWB has completed its inaugural flight around Airbus’ factory in Toulouse. The aircraft is due for delivery on October 7 and will then be rostered on to crew familiarisation flights, including from Helsinki to London Heathrow, Paris Charles de Gaulle and Amsterdam Schiphol. The A350’s first long-haul route, a daily service between Helsinki and Shanghai, scheduled to commence on October 25. A daily operation to Beijing is due to start on November 21. Finnair’s Airbus A350 impressive interiors are designed by Finnish design house dSign Vertti Kivi & Co.